Voluntary family planning is one of the great public health advances of the past century. In the midst of the “worst humanitarian crisis since World War II,” organizations that deal with family planning and contraception in Africa have become increasingly important. The President of the United States signed a ban earlier this year on federal money going to some of these organizations; that means the responsibility now falls on us, citizens of the world, to contribute in some form or another.
Family planning is important in every corner of the world: it reduces infant mortality risks, prevents sexually transmitted diseases, reduces the risk of producing disabled children, and prevents adolescent pregnancies. Most of the countries with the lowest rates of contraceptive use, highest birth mortality and highest fertility are in Africa.
The increased use of family planning leads to economic development; women are more likely to work and their children more likely to be healthy and educated. A study shows that one dollar used to slow population growth can be 100 times more effective in raising income per head than one dollar to expand output. There is an estimated 140%-600% return on investment in family planning methods due to health care savings and economic development.
The image is a global heat map that shows the percentages of women using modern birth control. In Africa, 53% of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for modern contraception. For Sub-Saharan Africa, this percentage falls under 20%. This is of particular concern, especially in the context of generalized epidemics. A growing population, limited access to contraception, cultural opposition, poor quality of services and gender-based barriers all contribute to this situation.
Just a few of the organizations doing a great job in this space.
You might also like
More from Crisis
More than 130 million girls are out of school which not only detriments the girls but detriments communities who are …
Rescue Them, Rescue Us: A Review of David Miliband’s ‘Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time’
Grenfell Tower survivors mourn…Harry and Meghan to marry next May…Refugees abused by border forces in the Balkans…England’s cricketers collapse against …